In 1997, Paul Finn started working on a record. It began in his childhood home and was still under way when he moved to North Carolina in 2002. By the time he finished tracking it, he marveled that it had taken a decade. He wasn’t even halfway there.
As he got busier playing in The Kingsbury Manx and Spider Bags and running Odessa Records, his record kept slipping to the side. “I eventually just kind of gave up,” he says. “I had let it fester and was not happy with it.”
But eventually, in 2021, Finn bought a house in Hillsborough. While unpacking, he started going through boxes of old tapes and even found the tracklist he’d written around 2003.
“My curiosity got the better of me,” he says. “Enough time had passed that I was like, ‘This is worth finishing.’”
Evening Pines’ It will take a long time comes out on cassette and online on January 17, with a release show at Local 506 on January 20. Though it’s a solo project (with the contributions of many musicians in many states, especially drummer Lee Waters), the live band includes Maria Albani and several Spider Bags.
Finn’s voice has dropped a little since he recorded these songs, which have straining, vulnerable shades of Jonathan Richman, and he has to nudge a key or two now. But it clears the way for two new records, already in the can, like a plug pulled from a dam.
“It is weird to reinhabit these songs,” he concedes. “The whole record is kind of a song cycle about growing up, but for whatever reason, I feel comfortable with it. I’ve come back around.”
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